From the Fantasy Fest website:
“Fantasy Fest is an annual, adult-themed, 10-day party in paradise. Started in 1979 by a small group of Key West locals, the party was created to bring visitors to the island in what was a typically quiet, but beautiful season. It worked. Fantasy Fest has grown every year since its inception and is now the wildest extravaganza around! Fun-loving revelers from around the globe leave their children and inhibitions behind as they descend upon Key West each year in October for 10 days filled with costuming, parades, libations, and excitement!”
Okay, let’s talk about the beginning of Fantasy Fest. There have been endless discussions between me, my awesomest friend Judie, and our amazing husbands. The Handsome Captain™ has lived here almost 25 years and Judie’s husband Mike almost 35. They’ve experienced the Fantasy Fests of old–the ones where feathers, sequins, creativity, and risqué were on the menu.
Like the images featured on the Fantasy Fest website:
I love these guys! I don’t see them ANY other time of year except the Masquerade March. I even tell them that and they insist they’re out and about. Well, I do hope I see them again this year.
But I digress. Yes, the people above DO attend Fantasy Fest with their creative, funny, and Carnivale-esque costumes. However, these beautiful and amusing people are NOT in the majority. Fantasy Fest should be called “The Others” because it’s those people who are the bane of a local’s existence. I’m going to tell you–“The Others” have never been a part of any “fantasy” I’ve ever had.
I don’t even know to whom I should give photo “credit”. I just know this image was all over Facebook last year.Are you fucking serious? And truthfully, she isn’t even the worst offender. A pair of shorts, camel toe, and painted saggy tits are supposed to be “creative”? Bullshit, it’s just gross! Look, I’ve been to Haulover in Miami and Little Beach in Maui. I’m no prude, but this festival was modeled after Carnivale. When did it become “A Nightmare On Duval Street”?
And look, isn’t he special? Again, BY FAR, not the worst thing I’ve seen. We see this guy every year and the front view is even worse.
Look, I’m not going to blame the body painter for this hot mess. He/she has to make a living in this expensive place we call home. Another beauty. These 3 images should be called “The Best Of The Worst”.
Ugh, can we please put some GROUND RULES in place for this event? Yes, there are some on the website but apparently people don’t actually READ them or they’re not enforced. Maybe they just need to be worded another way.
“HOW TO NOT BE A COMPLETE DOUCHE THIS FANTASY FEST”
1. PLEASE PUT ON SOME GODDAMNED CLOTHES!!!!
Your exposed breasts aren’t special, nor are they creative. If your tits were all that and a bag of chips, you’d be in a magazine and not getting your adulation from idiots. To the lovelies whose “girls” hang to their knees? Aren’t you late for a nice game of “throw your keys in a bowl” back in Podunk? Do you really want your grandchildren seeing this? And to the men–yah, I’ve seen “peni” before. Your Dorito-sized codpiece that sits under your 200 pound gut is totally unnecessary. Please resist the urge to call attention to it. Oh, and PS–We’re in the throes of Goombay, which is still a family-friendly event. If you can’t control your urge to be gross, please stay away from Petronia Street.
2. PLEASE LEAVE YOUR CHILDREN AT HOME
Honestly, this has nothing at all to do with the fact that I’m childfree. It has EVERYTHING to do with the fact that Fantasy Fest is FUCKING INAPPROPRIATE for little eyes. Are you people REALLY that stupid? Or are you too cheap to arrange appropriate child care? Do you not have access? Here’s a news flash: If your ONLY choice is to bring your children to Fantasy Fest, you need to get your priorities straight. This is not a beach in Europe. This is a hard-partying atmosphere and neither the sights nor the conversations are suitable. When I see you dragging your cranky child around at 1am, I’m not annoyed at your child. I look at you with every ounce of disdain in my body. At their height, do you know what they see? I do and it’s not pretty.
3. DON’T GET PISSY WHEN RESTAURANTEURS WON’T ALLOW YOU TO DINE NAKED
Every local knows a restaurant owner/manager who has had to deny service to those on the edge of naked. Are you serious? It’s a health violation, you moron! Maybe some restaurants will serve you, but others will not. Get some street food and call it a day. Do you really think I want to dine where your dirty, sweaty, naked ass has been? Do YOU want to eat in a place that serves naked people knowing you’re 1) not going to be the first patron and 2) the restaurant doesn’t steam clean their chairs after every guest leaves?
4. DON’T LEAVE THE FANTASY FEST ZONE IF YOU’RE NOT WILLING TO COVER UP
Believe it or not, this is a community. People go to work here and raise children, just like you do on the mainland. Please don’t infringe upon those who live here and want to do nothing more than enjoy their lives. Many locals would leave during Fantasy Fest if they could. They don’t need to see your tacky naked asses in front of their homes. Either stay in the zone or refer to Rule 1.
5. DON’T TRY TO CRASH A FANTASY FEST PARADE PARTY WHEN YOU’RE NOT ON THE GUEST LIST
Some of the parties book fast and truthfully, many fill with locals. The reason for this is because we’re the ones who support these places year round and many of us want to see the parade, too. So we’re offered first shot at tickets. Don’t walk through the rope and claim “I know ‘Mike’ and come here all the time!” because you know what? We REALLY DO go to these establishments “all the time” and we NEVER see YOU! Just be respectful and chalk it up to experience. Maybe next year, there will be an opening or try another party.
While I could go on and on, I’ll end it there. Seriously, this should NEVER have to be spelled out in a code of conduct: “lewd acts on public property or in public view are strictly ILLEGAL and NOT tolerated”. If you would do this, you’re already a douche and no amount of “How Not Tos” from me is going to help.
All that said, there are still two events I love: The Masquerade March (also known as the Locals’ Parade) and the Saturday night Fantasy Fest Parade. While the Saturday night parade can get redundant, we do enjoy being at the party with our friends. In my own personal “fantasy” of Fantasy Fest, it would go back to being creative, risqué, and imaginative…and all the trash would go somewhere else. A girl could only hope.
Images of Fantasy Fest past:
Sinead and I at The Bull.
Fantasy Fest Parade Party
Have a wonderful Fantasy Fest, everyone. Please be respectful 🙂